OOPPPSSS!!!

While doing a little home improvement, I took down a hall closet(in the front hallay) and built a new closet on the opposite wall away from the front door. Now comes the ooppss. A few weeks later I notice that the cold air return on the second floor is no longer sucking any air. Take off the grill, get a flashlight and mirror and look through the cavity and realize that the small whole in the ceiling downstairs from inside the closet wall I took down must have been the hole that I covered up. So now I go to the basment and find the cavity that has the duct work in it for the upstairs hallway and sure enough, it's covered. All that said and done, my question is, how do I get the cold air from upstairs to go away? It is now colder up there than it ever was. There is one other cold air return and thats at the opposite end of the hall, so I don't think this one return is sufficient to handle all the cold air from 4 bedrooms? Any comments/suggestions would greatly be appreciated.
C in NY
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Maybe you can put a new return through the new closet? Or its wall. Either one.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

So you're saying the cold air return "duct" in a two-story dwelling was the wall cavity between two joists in between an external return register/angle and short duct on each end?
If so, this violates every building code for fire blocking I ever saw and should be corrected. You really should route a cold air return somehow to connect the two ends w/ regular HVAC ductwork and ensure there is blocking in the previous hole. Also, if there is a second return also in the same fashion, it ought to be corrected as well.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

This is common practice where I live (in residential construction) and is passed by our building inspectors. Can't have an outlet in that space, and wires and pipes must cross horizontally in a vertical space. As for how you restore the return path, that is really going to take someone standing there and figuring it out. There's no magic answer. Don't think it really matters if it is in a duct or a joist space. I think some remodelling is in your future!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Really??? Granted it's been a while since I've been involved in new construction of a multi-story residence, but it would _never_ have been approved to have a combustible chamber serve as a return _between_ floors. It was required to have an unbroken inflammable connection through the plate between floors.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yeas ago, it was a common practice. My old house, built in the late '40s was that way. Never say _never_
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I was responding to a reply that said it was a practice _still_ being approved in his area and found that astounding -- saw many old houses that way when doing the rebuild/refurbish, but was unaware that it was still an approved practice anywhere in the US...of course, I was assuming the respondent was/is in the US. :)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

my 1950 home uses the stud cavaties for return air and some original power lines pass thru the cavaties too.
Of course the builder also ran a sewer line to the underside of the home to drain any excess under slab water.This results in flooded sewer plant, politics dictate a bigger sewer plant otherwise all 3000 homes would need all new sewr lines including under the basement floor about 10 grand per home.
Neither of these would pass building inspection today
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes this was in Duluth Minnesota in March of 2007. I feel like we have a very active and well informed building department, too.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The method was discussed here once, probably more than 6 months ago. I don't remember details.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.